The New York Times can’t quite figure out how a black man such as newly minted Senator, and current Representative Tim Scott, could possibly harbor conservative or Republican values.

The only explanation?  Scott is a “cynical token”.

Via the Times:

WHEN Gov. Nikki Haley of South Carolina announced on Monday that she would name Representative Tim Scott to the Senate, it seemed like another milestone for African-Americans. Mr. Scott will complete the term of Senator Jim DeMint, who is leaving to run Heritage Foundation. He will be the first black senator from the South since Reconstruction; the first black Republican senator since 1979, when Edward W. Brooke of Massachusetts retired; and, indeed, only the seventh African-American ever to serve in the chamber.

But this “first black” rhetoric tends to interpret African-American political successes — including that of President Obama — as part of a morality play that dramatizes “how far we have come.” It obscures the fact that modern black Republicans have been more tokens than signs of progress.

The trope of the black conservative has retained a man-bites-dog newsworthiness that is long past its shelf life. Clichés about fallen barriers are increasingly meaningless; symbols don’t make for coherent policies. Republicans will not gain significant black support unless they take policy positions that advance black interests. No number of Tim Scotts — or other cynical tokens — will change that.

In other words, it doesn’t matter how many African-Americans are elected or chosen by the Republican party, they will always be viewed in the liberal media as tokens.

Michael Warren at the Weekly Standard notes that the author of the op-ed is a Professor of Political Science.

Adolph L. Reed Jr., a professor of political science at the University of Pennsylvania, writes that Scott’s appointment (by a Indian-American Republican governor, no less) is a product of the GOP’s “desperate need to woo…minority voters.” Scott will be the first black Republican senator in more than 30 years, the only black senator in Congress next year, and the first black senator from the Deep South since Reconstruction.

But in the eyes of the New York Times, he is nothing more than a token with no qualifying credentials.

How dare he stray from the Democrat plantation.